Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Holy Moly!

Holy Moly this week is tough:

1. I have a house full of twelve year old boys round the clock (imagine the decibel level, grocery bill and surmounting cleanup duty)
2. I am two weeks out from a HUGE exam and I am severely behind on my study time,
3. I have three projects due in the next couple of weeks for work and my work environment ain't so good, folks
4. My vacation plans just don't seem to be working out
5. I've been told I was "weird"
6. I have not sat down for 5 minutes with nothing to do since I returned to town last Friday afternoon
7. My backdoor project is still not completely done and is requiring way more time and funds that I truly want to give it
8. My water heater pilot went out for some unknown reason last night and my own imagination has run off down the road of some extraordinarily expensive endeavor to correct this problem that will take as long as the backdoor project which will require me to have to take cold baths and showers for the next 3 months (good thing it's a hundred and fifty degrees outside and I'm still working on sticking to my energy savings plan)
9. My son came home from his incredible week at beach retreat running 103 degree temps with a bad case of strep
10. One of my dearest friends is going through one of the toughest times in her life

But Holy Moly there is so much to be thankful for,

1. Griffin made a decision last week to reconnect with God and was baptized again while at beach retreat and came home with incredible stories about all of the fun he had and all of the friends he made
2. My sweet, hard-woring friend worked diligently while I was out of town last week to get the better part of the back door installation work done and I do have a door in that has an incredible seal around which will keep the rain waters out and the small amounts of cool air I am allowing myself inside
3. Griffin and his friends want to hang out at our house (I like to think this is because I am such a cool mom)
4. Out of nowhere, that friend who is working on the back door appeared at the grocery store last night just in time to help me deal with the hot water heater issue and I got a hot bath last night even though I was selfish and made the boys go to bed stinky
5. My co-worker brought in the new Jimmy Needham CD today to the office and listening to it while I work is sort of like Snow White's rendition of "Whistle While You Work"
6. When I talked to my dear friends last night she told me the greatest story about a career success, and who doesn't love a happy ending story?
7. And of course, I'm weird! (Totally a compliment, don't you think?) Who wants to be plain, ordinary and boring? Not me!

Recently, I have been accused of putting too positive of a spin on my life. My blog apparently doesn't bring to light all the depressing, dark and disgusting issues that pop up every now and again. Well, it's one of those times now that 'bad times' is rearing it's ugly head in full force. I am choosing to not dwell on it all too much. It's encouraging to me to find joy in the good and pleasant things and it helps keep everything else in perspective.

My encouragement also comes from a short passage in Romans 5-
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

and Proverbs 17
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Holy Moly, that's good stuff!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM in my dreams...

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Doesn't that look like fun? I am still standing by my idea for an Adult Beach Retreat '10!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Abi-lene, Abi-lene

Be still my heart! I'm in Abilene and there's a rodeo in town which means no shortage of stud- muffin cowboys my friends!

Big trucks rumble by pulling horse trailers, with windows rolled down. I catch a glimpse of a tanned, weathered face peering beneath the worn edge of a straw cowboy hat and my heart melts. just. like. that.

No sooner does my heart get back on track when swaggers passed me in a restaurant a group of dirt, dusted wrangler wearing men with plaid snap front shirts bearing forearms that make Popeye look like a wimp. Oh, for the sweet love of Jesus, can I please just take one of you home with me?!

I'm so thankful to have the next three days to soak in even more of the spectacular scenery which also means I have some time to convince one of these sweet creatures that he could hitch up his horse in the backyard and stick around in Katy a while. We have rodeo's there, right?!

So, here is to sweet dreams in Abi-lene!

Abi-lene, Abi-lene...Prettiest town I've ever seen (well, I'm not so sure about that line).


Thanks to some awsome IT efforts, I am able to enhance my daydreaming experiences while at work and join in the fun that my son and his friends are having at Padre this week! Check it out...

Highlights Video - Monday

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Underoos, Ice Cream and Saving Money

One mildly, cool winter day because that's really all we ever get here in Texas I read an article that explained "tips and tricks" on lowering your electricity bill. JACKPOT! I thought; I've hit the jackpot now! Saving money is right up my alley.

The tips included the normal items you would expect like:

1. Energy efficient doors and windows including good, tight seals (hence the door project)
2. Proper window coverings and all of the "right" times of the day to open and close them to maximize efficiencies
3. A/C maintenance and programmable thermostat

and the kicker

4. the average "comfortable" home temperature is 77'F.

um...excuse me? of course, I say this now.

I vowed to try it at the time I read this article. Promised to get my "cool air" habits under control.

You may be wondering what my "cool air" habits are exactly. However, if you have lived in SE Texas for any amount of time, you probably have a good idea of what they are.

For as long as I can remember, way back into my childhood even, the A/C temp was on 69'F at night and did not budge over 73'F during the day and that was probably before my mother's hot flashes had really set in to stay. So, for the better part of my life I have lived in what some may call, frigid temperatures.

To bring you up to date on this journey, let me begin by saying that at this current time the temperatures outside are upward of 87'F which are some of our milder summer temps. I'm sweating gang. All of the time. Not just a little. My arm pits stink, my thighs stick together and to every seat in the house, I kick the covers off completely at night, I can't get my makeup on in the morning because I am fighting to keep my face dry enough for the stuff to stick. My thermostat is currently on 75'F and it's killing me.

What I do to accommodate these sweltering temps in the house is strip down. Tank tops and shorts for now but this ain't going to cut the mustard when the 90 degree weather is here to stay. It's all fine for now when I am home alone and can get down to the underwear stage of cooling off, but Griffin may not care to have me parading through the house in nothing but my underoo's wonder woman of course!

So, I'm stuck. I'm not sure I can stick this thing out. I miss the days of having to pull a little blanket over my legs while curled up on the sofa watching a movie or when I had to put the ice cream in the microwave for a few seconds for it to thaw enough to get the spoon in it after it had set out for 20 minutes and made no progress in the melting stage.

What's your homes average temps? Have I lost my mind for giving up my cooler temps? I'm going with a VERY STRONG YES here. Or should I just pack my bags and head for Alaska now before it gets worse???

I think I'll go fix myself some ice cream now and try and scarf it down before it becomes completely liquid in the next 2 minutes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Things I Heart

Things I love today:

1. Hearing some of my favorite songs on the way to work!

Oh how, I want to be Whatever It Is to someone while I'm living out these few more weary days until I fly away.

2. One thousand sweaty, rambunctious and CRAZY youth jam packed in the sanctuary rallying, worshipping and praying together in preparation for Beach Retreat '09.

DISCLAIMER: Last summer's promo video is all I could find that shared with you a good picture of all the Beach Retreat is about. Please keep these kids, leaders, volunteers, parent and don't forget about the locals that put up with the descent of a billion teenagers each summer in their communities in your prayers!

3. Increasing the weights on some of my arm exercises at the gym during the lunch time workout. Gun show coming soon!

4. Free root beer floats from our good friends over at Sonic shared with good friends! Good times!

5. Listening to the news casters reveal the "naked truth" about the stripper who is pressing charges on the patron who "aggressively fondled her buttocks." How do they keep a straight face when reporting that kind of stuff? Seriously?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Foul Mouth Sailor

Sunday night while having dinner with a friend and his kids, the conversation topic was (for a brief moment because that's really all you get with three pre-teens at the table) over the use of profanity. Brought up entirely by the kids, but so relevant at the time (i.e. recent struggles with my own child's use of the wash-your-mouth-out kind of language and just a personal offense to the everyday, thoughtless and careless use of such language).

But the oh-so-smart statement that was made to all those foul-mouthed sailors out there....

"using bad words is a sign of your IQ. It just means you can't think of more intelligent words to use."

Love it! Love. it. Love, love, love it!

Don't get me wrong, as my friend Jori would say, there is much appreciation to be had for the well placed curse word. It's the unwarranted, nonessential, flippant use of such words that appall me.

Timely enough, the JHigh pastor over at church, posted a link to another pastor's video on such topic. Just thought I'd share.

The habit of changing is not easy. I know that first hand, habits are hard to break. However, I was given some advice recently that can be applied to so many situations, "we grow more in times of stress. Just like when we exercise our muscles by working out; we strain them and stress them and even deprive them of oxygen in order for them to grow and fine tune, so does our own character."

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Swinging Door

Have you ever gotten yourself involved in a project that seems to never end? I'm in the middle of this never ending process to replace my patio door. It seems to be one nightmare after another and I just can't get a minute of peace about the thing.

The back door project is becoming a regular time bugler in my life.

Sad thing is, that I did not intentionally decide one day that "I would really enjoy changing that patio door because...

...it just isn't the right style for me
...i'd really like my back patio door to be another color
...i'm feeling uber industrious with tons of my time on my hands, so I think I am going to dive into a home improvement project of my choice."

No. Not anything even close.

I have this really great neighbor that lives around the corner from me. He loves me. Really. He. loves. me. One of those guys that would do just about anything for me. He is sort of like having a honey around to do the honey do's, except he my honey.

The deal is that my sweet, dear friend knew that I had been having some problems with water seeping in around the back door during torrential downpours, like hurricane Ike or the recent flood days we had here in West Houston just wanted to do something nice. Something helpful to remedy the situation. Something as simple as replace the weather stripping on the back door.

So, when he showed up unannounced with tools in hand one day and waltzed right to the back door and started working with hardly a word spoken I thought nothing of it. It took him no time at all to remove the door from the hinges and strip off the old weather stripping, when he turned and somewhat solemnly announced that the door was rotted and he would not be able to replace the weather stripping.

You know what that means, right? My ten dollar weather stripping replacement job (that I did not even initiate- keep that in mind) was turning into a door replacement project that I soon found out would run upwards of $700.00 with installation.

Can you say YIKES!?!?

To make this rather lengthy story a little shorter, I'll just tell you that after picking myself up off the floor when I received that extraordinary quote, I humbly picked up the phone and called my real knight in shining armor and household fix it all friend and kindly offered him multiple home cooked meals to help with the door installation process. Guess what? He accepted and I just knew it would be a breeze from here on out.

But I sit here now, writing this post to tell you that I have never endured so much agony in all my life! This door situation has left me thinking that it may have been easier to put a for sale sign in the front yard and just pack up and move to a new home with a nice, tight fitting, weather stripped back door.

The tedious problems that I am having at this point though have nothing to do with said, knight in shining armor who is actually being ever so patient with me, but with my own stupidity. From the shopping process to the transportation of the door home, I have had multiple challenges.

But, the icing on the cake was my painting mishap. I picked out this really great red color to enjoy on the exterior when I am sitting on the patio enjoying a nice cold beer or glass of wine. Hoping that it will enhance the whole patio experience that was actually my original home improvement project for the season (but I was thinking more along the lines of a few potted plants and repainting the patio furniture).
Didn't I say I was making this lengthy story shorter? I need to work on that.
Needless to say, the door was painted, ready for install and looking rather like perfection, if I do say so myself. The knight in shining armor came with tools in hand to replace the door while I was not home. But, I fortunately (or not) came home just as the install process was being finished to see the red side of the door not facing the exterior in order to better enhance my patio experience, but staring straight at me in my living room. ARRRGGG!!!
The door was removed and set carefully back in the garage for yet another round of painting and will then go through another install process. Hopefully, this time without incident.
But, I promise to keep you posted and hopefully pics coming.